Wednesday, April 16, 2014

U.S. Competitors Agree: To Beat the Recession, Spend More On Schools

Share

By Alain Jehlen

In America, school funding cuts are the order of the day from coast to coast and north to south. But most of our competitors around the world have embarked on a different road to economic recovery. Investing in education is what’s going to pull them out of the quagmire and move them ahead of the competition (like us) in the future.

That’s the message from a recent report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an organization of the world’s wealthy nations.

“Our competitors are putting their money where they know it can do the most good,” said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel. “This survey backs our position that investing in education is not just good for educators. It’s good for the kids and good for the nation. It’s the way forward.”

The OECD survey includes information from 25 of its 34 member nations. China is not a member.

The United States, which is an OECD member, did not respond to the survey questionnaire. But earlier this year, the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities released its own survey showing that education funding in the US has gone in the opposite direction from funding in most OECD members. Even counting the federal stimulus funding, 34 states plus the District of Columbia have made cuts in K-12 and early education funding since the economic crisis began, and 43 states have cut higher education, the Center reported.

Also, the report said vocational and higher education institutions in the US have boosted student tuition, making it harder for students to attend.

The OECD survey team got responses from many major US competitors, from Korea and Japan to Mexico and Canada.

OECD found that vocational and higher education is where most OECD members added the most investment, believing that hard economic times and stiffer competition made it all the more important to provide more training.

“In general, governments seem to be rather successful in protecting education spending,” according to the OECD report. “Some countries even have increased funding for specific parts of the education system in order to enhance output and efficiency.”

Only a few countries, under severe economic pressure, have cut funding, the survey report says.

And some of the nations hardest hit by the downturn, such as Ireland and Greece, maintained or increased funding at almost all levels of education because they believe education funding is part of the solution, not part of the problem.

In addition to direct funds to schools and universities, some countries are also providing more financial aid to students so they can get the training they need despite the hard times afflicting their families.

_______________________________

Read the full OECD Report (PDF)

Comments

3 Responses to “U.S. Competitors Agree: To Beat the Recession, Spend More On Schools”
  1. I am laughing out loud. So the National Education Association — the bastion of there-will-never-be-enough-money-for-public-schools — has embraced an international agenda. Imagine that? If NEA were doing the job of a real education-focused organization, they would be finding to deliver a quality education for less. Instead, in Texas and across the country we now have one non-teacher for every teacher in our school districts and we spend less than half the education funding on instruction. Instead of focusing on educational institutions, we should be focusing on students. It’s not all about your education salaries, folks. Until schools focus on students, we should continue to cut funding. Or assomeone suggested recently, tell schools they need to increase teacher pay by 25% and do it with existing dollars. For more information on how we can cut spending without cutting teachers or instruction, go to http://www.RedAppleProject.com

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  2. Jennifer Keeler says:

    Who’s REALLY got their priorities straight? Apparently only 9 states.

    Your article mentions that 34 states (+ D.C.) are cutting K-12 education. Here are the states that are NOT cutting K-12 education, cross-referenced with a list of states targeting teachers unions and/or collective bargaining:
    1. Alaska – proposed legislation which restricts collective bargaining
    2. Arkansas
    3. Louisiana
    4. Minnesota
    5. Montana
    6. New Hampshire – proposed legislation which restricts collective bargaining
    7. New Mexico – proposed legislation which restricts collective bargaining
    8. North Dakota
    9. Oklahoma – proposed legislation which restricts collective bargaining
    10. South Dakota
    11. Tennessee – proposed legislation which restricts collective bargaining
    12. Texas
    13. Vermont
    14. West Virginia
    15. Wisconsin – proposed legislation which restricts collective bargaining
    16. Wyoming

    The rest of the offenders:
    Arizona – proposed legislation which restricts collective bargaining
    California – proposed legislation which restricts collective bargaining
    Colorado – proposed legislation which restricts collective bargaining
    Florida – proposed legislation which restricts collective bargaining
    Idaho – proposed legislation which restricts collective bargaining
    Maine – proposed legislation which restricts collective bargaining
    Massachusetts – proposed legislation which restricts collective bargaining
    Michigan – proposed legislation which restricts collective bargaining
    Nebraska – proposed legislation which restricts collective bargaining
    Ohio – proposed legislation which restricts collective bargaining
    Nevada – proposed legislation which restricts collective bargaining
    Washington – proposed legislation which restricts collective bargaining

    Indiana – proposed legislation which affects unions
    Iowa – proposed legislation which affects unions
    Kansas – proposed legislation which affects unions
    Missouri – proposed legislation which affects unions
    New Jersey – proposed legislation which affects unions

    I got my information from :
    The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (table of state cuts)
    http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=1214
    and a map of states with public union protests:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_United_States_public_employee_protests

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Trackbacks

Check out what others are saying about this post...
  1. [...] To read more of Van Roekel’s thoughts and more on the study’s implications, click through f…. [...]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0



Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!